How An NFL Joke Slips Into A Japanese Game

Illustration for article titled How An NFL Joke Slips Into A Japanese Game

Danganronpa V3, like previous entries in the excellent humor-horror series, is full of pop culture references. But how did an NFL joke get stuck in there?


As a longtime New York Jets fan who has nothing but bile for the New England Patriots, I very much enjoyed seeing the above line, a non sequitur delivered by one of the game’s irritatingly charming Monokubs. Clearly GOTY material. It made me wonder, though — did the Japanese writers of Danganronpa V3 really intend to make a joke about American football? I reached out to publisher NIS America for an answer.

The original line, according to a NIS America representative, was:


巨人を駆逐や! 駆逐したるで!

Their direct translation for that is:

Stop being so gloomy and cheer on the Tigers!

Destroy the Giants! We’re going to destroy them!

That’s a reference to the Japanese baseball team the Hanshin Tigers and their biggest rivals, the Yomiuri Giants. In Japan, those two teams have a huge rivalry, but the reference wouldn’t make sense to most English readers. (Danganronpa V3, like its predecessors, does dig into Japan and Japanese culture, but this reference would’ve likely been too left-field.)

Monosuke, the bear in question, has a heavy Brooklyn accent, so the Danganronpa V3 localization team decided to replace the Tigers and Giants with an east coast equivalent. “They were trying to decide what east coast sports teams would make sense to use,” said a NISA representative. “Then our editor decided on the Pats and Jets.”

And that’s how an NFL joke makes its way into a Japanese game.



See, this is the difference between just translation and a localization. That joke would have gone over everyone’s heads. Even otaku, since most anime fans aren’t Japanese sports team fans. Anime jokes? Sure, keep ‘em in. But reaching out of ones demo? Find a local equivalent. The spirit of the joke is still 100% intact.